With all the positive raves at TV, one can get curious on what’s up with Tuhog? The trailer and TV spots only gave a minimal glimpse of what it is about. Can it really bring the audience to a different ride?
Before taking the film’s bus ride, let me give the official synopsis of the film: Due to a road rage between two buses, an accident occurs which puts the lives of its passengers in jeopardy. But the ones greatly affected by such event are a middle-aged woman named Fiesta (Eugene Domingo), an old and retired family patriarch Tonio (Leo Martinez), and a lad named Caloy (Enchong Dee). These three people are pierced through a single steel bar – a dangerous situation that even their doctors find hard to solve. From there, the movie recounts the story of these three people before the accident. Tonio is a retired old man who wants to fulfill his shrugged off dream of becoming a baker. He decided to use his pension to fulfill it despite his own family’s disapproval. Fiesta is a bus barker of Janus Express whose life revolves around taking care of her demented father Carding. Her life slowly changes when she meets Nato who eventually wins her heart but what seems to be a happy ending for her gets complicated when she finds out Nato’s painful secret. Caloy is a young man preserving his virginity for his girlfriend Angel (Empress). They have made an agreement to give up their virginities to each other and only to each other. However, Caloy gets challenged to remain faithful to this pact because of the difficulties of the long distance relationship he shares with Angel.
Similar to Jologs’s plot frame, the film consists of intertwining stories. This time, it is divided into three segments. Tonio’s segment is light and interesting. The dialogues are humorous in here. For Fiesta’s segment, there was this scene which is obviously copied from My Sassy Girl but Eugene and Jake still did get away with it. This is to say that this segment may not be that original but I like the way the filmmakers presented it. There are scenes that go deep within the emotions of its characters especially in Fiesta’s journey in finding her real happiness. As I noticed the people’s reactions around me in the cinema, this is also a crowd pleaser. For me, it is the most accomplished among the three. Caloy’s segment is the weakest for me. Don’t BLANK me when I say I find the segment funny but it felt more like a filler.
This anthology requires a good cast to carry each segment and I think the leads gave great performances. Veteran Leo Martinez is superb as Tonio. I love his delivery of why can’t his family let him do what he wants. May it be on drama or comedy, Eugene Domingo hits the right notes. Even by just looking at her facial expressions, you can feel the struggles of her character. Jake Cuenca did a satisfactory job as her love interest. They have a cute moment after their first kiss. Enchong Dee played Caloy well. What I liked in these performances is that they are not forced especially in dramatic sequences. It feels natural.
In terms of production, it was well-made and the direction is solid. The premise as I’ve heard is based on a Grey’s Anatomy episode but it still looks fresh and brilliant to me. Despite these triumphs, I left the theater feeling that there was something lacking in the film. To be honest, the ending was quite rushed. It was very preachy. I think the story has more to tell and offer. They should also have given more importance to the accident part. This is the part that needed improvement. Overall, this is a film which slightly missed the bull’s-eye.
Also part of “Tuhog” are Noel Trinidad, Ariel Ureta, Nikki Valdez, Carla Martinez, Maliksi Morales, Kitkat, Beauty Gonzales, Rodjun Cruz, Eda Nolan, Bodjie Pascual, Meggie Cobarrubias, Jon Achiaval, Manuel Chua, Nor Domingo, Hyubs Azarcon, Nico Antonio, Allyzon Lualhati, Joe Vargas and Nicco Manalo. Dimples Romana has a special participation in the film.
With a solid production, great cast and an interesting premise, there is something lacking in the end results but it’s still a nice offering from Star Cinema. Keep it up!
About the movie reviewer:
Orange Magazine TV‘s newest film critic is a self-confessed movie geek. John Albert Villanueva love movies so much, he watch every movies from the big screen and collects DVDs of classic movies. Read his other review here.